Sometimes I piss myself off so much. Why can’t I just be happy-go-lucky and stay that way? To go where I’m going, and let’s just be clear that I have no precise idea where that is, there are no detours due to road construction, only straight through the missing bridges, potholes, narrow roads… and, I’ll admit, this has also been the path that promised, and is delivering, great adventure.
Sometimes I want to be one of those people who are ‘easy breezy’ about everything and don’t feel quite so deeply, or can shake off things they see or experience in a couple of minutes if they want. But truth is, how I’m wired and what I believe brought me here to Edinburgh, Scotland to live at this moment. Why to live? Because I never wanted to be just a tourist passing through in a few days but instead I wanted to live in faraway places for at least several weeks at a time and start to know people. Even still I had no grand plan. Yet, as it’s evolved, I’ve had the opportunity and blessing to have a home and an address in Ireland, France and Scotland so far.
In my own meaning of ‘easy-breezy,’ I’m not talking about taking it as it comes or ‘having a positive attitude.’ I’m talking about the ability to go through life for a little while without feeling the pain in a stranger’s eyes even if you don’t see their eyes, viewing a sunset and simply seeing only orange and pink instead of being flooded with an avalanche of thoughts, emotions, longings. And then feeling so wrecked after it fades that you have to do something creative with all that you’ve taken in or you feel that your own life will be choked out of you.
If what I’m describing resonates, then the desire or ability to see the world in its many-colored hues likely lives in you, whether you’ve given it breathing room or not. A lily is no less a lily just because we don’t water it. And maybe you don’t want to be the way you are because it hurts more often than seems reasonable. You don’t want to see and feel things the way you do. But again, if it’s who you are, it’s who you are. And I believe that when I most want to stifle my way of being in the world, this is precisely when I need to dig deep, open up and allow myself to feel even more. That seems to be where the joy lives. And with all of that ‘serious’ stuff, go have a glass or two of wine, do something silly, maybe even stupid, and find things that make me smile and laugh a lot.
As I finish writing this, Bon Jovi’s ‘Living On A Prayer’ has come up on my iTunes shuffle. Of course it has because don’t the little things happen—like a song that you hear at just the right time—to remind you not to take it all so seriously. This song takes me to a snow-packed road with broken chains on the tires flapping in rhythm and a van full of hopeful snowboarders making our way up the mountain in a never-ending freak Portland snow storm, singing like fools at the top of our lungs and loving every minute of it. This makes me smile… a lot.